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Author Topic: New to me bandsaw  (Read 529 times)

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Offline VT_Forestry

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New to me bandsaw
« on: June 27, 2017, 07:42:15 am »
Found this gem at a school auction last week and just couldn't turn it down.  Powermatic 81, best guess from the serial number is that it was manufactured in 1974.  All in all in pretty good shape, I'll need to find and/or make a new blade guard lock as this one has gone missing, but everything else looks to be there and in working order.  It's 3-phase, so I'll likely change over to single phase - if I had more equipment that needed 3-phase I would consider a converter, but this is the only one in my shop so I'm thinking it's easier just to swap motors.  Tricked 3 friends into helping me move it which made things go much smoother than anticipated - within 20 minutes of showing up we had it wheeled out the door and strapped down on the trailer.  Looking forward to getting this thing fired up - if anyone owns one of these and has any advice, I'm always open to suggestions  :)

Forester - Newport News Waterworks

Offline Bruno of NH

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2017, 07:52:14 am »
Nice find
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Offline 69bronco

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2017, 08:21:23 am »
What a score! smiley_clapping
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Offline Savannahdan

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2017, 09:24:33 am »
Couple of manual listed here: http://www.vintagemachinery.org/
Search under Powermatic and you can sort by type.
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Offline Larry

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2017, 11:58:55 am »
That's a great saw, you were lucky to snatch it.  I recently helped assembly two new 14 saws, and a 17 saw all from China.  The quality was not even close to your saw.

My daily driver is a 20 Delta from the same era.  I've powered it for the last 10 years with a Teco FM-50 VFD.  The VFD has several advantages over other methods.  First is variable speed, which I sometimes use to slow down the saw for cutting brass and bronze.  I also run it over speed for re-sawing at times.  The variable speed can be used to tune out any harmonics coming from the blade or motor.  The second advantage is it has adjustable braking.  I never even touch the brake pedal anymore.  Third advantage is it may be cheaper than converting to single phase.  I've heard good reports on the cheap VFD's that can be found on ebay.

I learned a trick from a friend that has 2 saws like yours, and 3 Deltas.  Adding weights such as sandbags makes them more pleasurable to use.
Larry

Nine out of ten trees recommend wood for your building project.

Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2017, 06:47:02 am »
Thanks for all pointers!  I can repower with a brand new Leeson 2HP single phase motor for a little over $300, but I'm curious now about that Teco FM-50.  It looks like I can get a 2HP model for about $170 if I'm looking at it right.
Forester - Newport News Waterworks

Offline caveman

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2017, 08:00:17 am »
VT, that is a very nice bandsaw.  I have one at work (school shop) that I need to move to the school that I am transferring to along with a 66 table saw, 50 jointer and a lathe.  I dread loading, hauling and unloading all of it.   Let us know how the repower works out.
Caveman

Offline VT_Forestry

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2017, 08:38:20 am »
VT, that is a very nice bandsaw.  I have one at work (school shop) that I need to move to the school that I am transferring to along with a 66 table saw, 50 jointer and a lathe.  I dread loading, hauling and unloading all of it.   Let us know how the repower works out.

I've let a few 81s slip past me and decided this time around I was gonna take it home.  The same auction also had a 66 table saw, a 72 table saw, and a Unisaw.  I was very tempted on that 72, but having just picked up a table saw a couple months ago, it would have been a tough sell to my better half.
Forester - Newport News Waterworks

Offline Kbeitz

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2017, 02:17:23 pm »
You can but a static phase converter off E-bay for under $50.00
1 to 3 hp.
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Offline woodworker9

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2017, 11:54:38 pm »
The Teco FM50 is a very good quality VFD.  I own 3 of them, and they are easy to wire, and you can get excellent factory support online.  The VFD basically replaces the starter for the bandsaw.  You cannot have a switch between the VFD and the machine, unless you wire a remote (which you can do).

I would not recommend a static converter.  They de-rate the motor hp, and can and will potentially cause early motor failure when used for extended periods of time.  I burned up an excellent quality 6 hp 3 phase motor using a static converter to operate it, and know several other OWWM members who have experienced similar failures.

If I were you, I'd spend the money on the VFD.  If you ever decide to get more 3 phase machines, and switch over to a rotary phase converter, you will always be able to get almost all of your money back on the FM50, selling it online. 
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Offline hackberry jake

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Re: New to me bandsaw
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2017, 09:54:01 pm »
I have an early pm 81 with a vfd. I love the ability to control the speed. I also have a full blown rotary phase converter, but the bandsaw will keep its vfd.
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